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Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising “wedge issue” for hardcore conservatives.
The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.
Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust told the Guardian that her organisation assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes. [...]
Donors exhibit sharp differences of opinion on many issues, Ball said. They run the spectrum of conservative opinion, from social conservatives to libertarians. But in opposing mandatory cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, they found common ground.
"Are there both sides of an environmental issue? Probably not," she went on. "Here is the thing. If you look at libertarians, you tend to have a lot of differences on things like defence, immigration, drugs, the war, things like that compared to conservatives. When it comes to issues like the environment, if there are differences, they are not nearly as pronounced." [...]
The ready stream of cash set off a conservative backlash against Barack Obama's environmental agenda that wrecked any chance of Congress taking action on climate change.
Those same groups are now mobilising against Obama's efforts to act on climate change in his second term.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—The death of the Republican dog whistle:
In the idealized version of the GOP primary, establishment Republicans would curry favor with their Wall Street pals while sending coded dog whistles to their foot soldiers—on race, immigration, reproductive freedoms, etc. Those dog whistles would motivate the GOP base without revealing their true radical nature to the American mainstream. It was a genius system while it worked, one that saw no parallel on the progressive side.
But the days of the dog whistle are over. The election of President Barack Obama created an entire cottage industry trying to prove how un-American and Kenyan he supposedly is, while Republicans like Rep. Pete Hoekstra run blatantly anti-Asian ads. Republicans laugh about electrocuting immigrants who will cut off your head in the desert if they're not stopped, while passing laws openly hostile to brown people. Attacks on homosexuals have escalated to new hysterical highs as society becomes more tolerant and open to equality.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin tells us about an upcoming PBS Frontline on 12/14, including a somewhat more sympathetic portrait of Nancy Lanza, mother of the shooter. Next, the incredible meteor strike in Russia, and why there's so much dash-cam video of it! Speaking of mobile media tech, it's a factor in stories as different as the cruise ship stranding and the Republicans' (so far failed) attempts to remake itself in modern form. Also: GunFAIL V; a granular look at the Hagel filibuster and what it tells us; Frank Lautenberg's retirement announcement, and; McCain's shifting explanations for the Hagel blockade.